Jul 6, 2005
Ode to a Solid Stool
Life abroad has different rhythms. Some days its fast paced and stressful, other times its slow and utterly relaxing. Sometimes people have challenges with external events, things that happen to them when in a foriegn environment. Sometimes people have internal challenges when coming to terms with life far from home. My most serious complaint about this trip so far, however, is that magical moment when internal woes become external.
You see, when a man sits in the smallest room of his house he likes to fancy himself a WWII Pilot dropping bombs rather than a firefighter spraying a fire. Or perhaps a lumberjack casting logs into a river rather than a gardener spraying down a field. And when this particular agriculturist felt an internal compunction to hose down the very same garden half a dozen times in the same morning I begrudgingly admitted that all was not well.
Today we've been in Guatemala for three weeks and not coincidentally I've gone three weeks without personally issuing anything to the world with any structural integrity. Once in a while thats ok, but I'm starting to wonder if I'll ever hear my distinctive 'Plop' sound again.
In the beginning there were plenty of good reasons for my soft disposition. A long night of drinking on our last night out; but even after I gave up the liquid diet my entrails did not. There is also my affinity for verde salsa picante, a type of liquid fire one pours on food to spice it up which later pours out with no less burning spice. So I adjusted my diet. I toned down the salsa, ate more bananas and tried to eat things that already looked like what I wanted them to a bit later in the day.
The closest I came to controlling the enslaught was to use the upper half of my body to outsmart the lower via a siege strategy I gained from my studies of war in the European middle ages. I formed a blockade on the north end of my person, and denied any food to pass. The theory was that this would disarm my more southern contingent thus rendering it impotent. It retailiated with a psychological maneuver worthy of Napolean. Despite having given it very little to work with it threatened a massive offensive, a geyser erupting not unlike the `Old Faithful' geyser in Yellowstone national park. Initially I reacteded with disdain, I knew it must bluffing because I had denied it any ammunition. But eventually, as the pressure built, my confidence broke and I ran to the ceramic bowl battlefield. When the enormous pressure building trickled out more like a leaky faucet than a volcano erupting I knew I had been duped.
It´s difficult to to win an arguement with ones own alimentary canal. Deep within myself I have discovered a capacity, possibly superhuman, to render all solids into liquids. I have been profoundly humbled by this knowledge and in my defeat have conceded some of what I´m looking for in life. Instead of demanding that my body perform solidly on a regular schedule I beseech it, with manifest humility, for mercy. My southern regions now dictate the rhythm of my days and I simply beg it to continue to giving me a little bit of warning and enough control to use that information.
Is this too much to ask?